How do I get a Schedule B?

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By: Justin Jenkins

How easy is it to purchase a car? There are so many kinds of cars and options available. First you have to decide whether you want a coupe, sedan, van, or SUV. Then you have to choose between a number of manufacturers. The more you consider the decision, the more you realize how many options you have. All of this happens before you even consider the optional features for the interior or function of the vehicle. However, the more you know about what you want, the better you can identify the perfect car for you.

Picking through all the options of a car is similar to the process of finding a correct Schedule B number. Did you know there are approximately 9,000 individual numbers divided into 97 chapters? How do you find the right one?

You can start with our Schedule B Search Engine. The search engine is designed to ask questions based on the key words you input and to provide a reasonable amount of options for you to choose from instead of having to sort through 9,000 codes. Some searches will be simple and take you directly to a list of codes. Other searches may be more complicated. The search engine may first ask about the composition, capacity, power source, end use, or function. These are important characteristics that will allow the search engine to hone in on the appropriate section of the Schedule B to classify your product.

Demo on Finding a Schedule B

Let’s work on a search together. Say you have developed a new shirt design and would like to sell it in foreign markets or to a specific customer overseas.

1. To begin, let’s type “shirt” into our search engine, and click on the “SEARCH” button.
2. The search engine will ask about the construction of the shirt: “knitted or crocheted” or “other.” Screen shot of step 2       3.  Selecting “knitted or crocheted” will lead to a question about the gender the shirt is intended for: “babies’,” “men’s or boys’,” “women’s or girls’,” or “other.

Screen shot of step 3

4.  If we select “women’s or girls’,” it will next ask about the content of the shirt — the percentage of cotton, man-made fibers, or other textile material. Screen shot of step 4
5.  When we indicate that the shirt is 100% cotton, the search engine takes us directly to the section for women’s or girls’ shirts and blouses made of cotton. Screen shot of step 5

6.  Read the 4-digit heading description and 6-digit subheading description to make sure we’re looking in the right place.

7.  Click on the button “Get Schedule B Number” and we are provided with the full ten-digit code for a woman’s cotton shirt.

Screen shot of step 7

8.  If we had selected a different gender or a different textile material, the resulting number would have been different.

Now you can see how our Search Engine works. Finding a Schedule B number can be a complex process, but our new search engine can be very helpful in narrowing down which number you will report for your goods.

Whenever you have difficulty searching on your own, you can call or email the Foreign Trade Help line, and one of our analysts in the Commodity Analysis Branch will be happy to help you find a Schedule B number. The Help Line number is 1-800-549-0595, Option 2 for Commodity Classification Assistance. Our email address is:


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3 Responses to How do I get a Schedule B?

  1. shelley vybiral says:

    While we appreciate your efforts on the Census blog, you are doing a disservice to industry by simply instructing them to use your search engine to find their Schedule B. The correct answer is that you obtain your Schedule B # by applying the General Rules of Interpretation. There are all day courses on tariff classification, and to do it correctly (for anything but the simplest products) often takes years to master. While your search engine may be a tool or aid in the classification process, by no means should you be instructing industry to classify their products using your search engine. This is not what the REGULATIONS THEMSELVES (Schedule B / HTSUS) state.

  2. Global Reach Justin says:

    You are correct. The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) must be applied in order to determine proper export classification. In my entry, I was suggesting the Search Engine as an initial step in the classification process. The Search engine was designed to apply the GRI and World Custom Organization legal notes. In later blogs, I would like to present the GRI as well as other methods of finding a Schedule B number.

  3. Patrickfal says:

    Nice piece of insight thank you for sharing it.

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